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Hypoxic hepatitis and furosemide
  1. Ana Carina Pizzarossa,
  2. Martín Rebella
  1. Clínica Médica C, Hospital de Clínicas, Montevideo, Uruguay
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ana Carina Pizzarossa, carina491986{at}


Hypoxic hepatitis is a rather common complication of heart, circulatory or respiratory failure. We present the case of a patient with hypoxic hepatitis in the setting of heart failure and dehydration from furosemide as a reminder of an important clinical lesson. The pathogenesis of hypoxia (especially in the case of heart failure) is explained by a two-hit mechanism in which the liver at risk of hypoxic injury by passive hepatic congestion (right heart failure) is subsequently exposed to systemic hypoperfusion, which leads to a marked and transient elevation of aminotransferases. In the case presented, the use of furosemide (at least partially) promoted the second hit because it helped to generate hypotension and splanchnic hypovolaemia and favoured hepatic hypoxia.

  • cardiovascular system
  • hepatitis other
  • heart failure
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  • Contributors ACP: conception of the work, writing, research of similar cases. MR revised the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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